Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Context||Leutze had been commissioned by Congress to create a mural depicting westward expansion.|
|Audience||Members of Congress and the nation's general public|
|Purpose||To celebrate the nation's expansion|
Since at least as early as the nineteenth century, westward expansion has resided at the heart of American mythology and self-identity in fiction, movies, popular and academic history, and art. "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" is an oil-on-canvas mural study depicting emigrants at the continental divide. Congress commissioned the mural in 1860 for the nation's Capitol building. German-born Emanual Leutze had already painted another iconographic American scene: "Washington Crossing the Delaware." He traveled in the West to prepare himself for creating this painting.